News Release
September 12, 2005

Released By Duke University


This new industry-university collaboration is designed to develop policies that address the problems of global climate change

Durham, N.C. -- Duke Energy has pledged $2.5 million to Duke University to support the Climate Change Policy Partnership -- a new industry-university collaboration that will develop policies to address the problems of global climate change, Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead announced today.

The new partnership will pool the expertise of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Center on Global Change and Duke Energy, as well as other corporate and academic partners from across the Southeast, Brodhead said.

Duke Energy’s gift will come in two segments: $1.5 million to fund Phase I of the partnership, expected to be completed by January 2007; and an additional $1 million to fund Phase II, which depends on the successful completion of the first phase and the recruitment of other corporate partners.

During the partnership’s first phase, researchers will assess the environmental and economic costs and benefits of federal policy options for addressing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which most scientists view as the cause of global warming.

These policies include market-based cap-and-trade programs and a nationwide tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels. Cap-and-trade programs are those that set overall authorized caps on emissions for sources and allow the buying and selling of those emissions authorizations. Researchers at the Nicholas Institute will lead these initiatives.

Researchers at the Center on Global Change will assess the potential for using carbon sequestration to store atmospheric carbon dioxide in forests, soils or underground reservoirs.

The Climate Change Policy Partnership will fund more than 30 Duke Energy Research Fellowships for graduate students from Duke and other North Carolina universities to work with researchers on these projects.

Partners will share findings with government, corporate and environmental leaders nationwide, including the North Carolina Climate Change Task Force.

“In the absence of mandatory federal policy, many corporations and state governments are moving forward with their own climate change initiatives and corporations face questions every day, including those involving long-lived investments, with little understanding on how the country will proceed on this issue,” said Paul M. Anderson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Duke Energy, which is a founding participant in the Nicholas Institute.

“A cohesive approach, informed by sound science and economics, is needed to align these efforts,” Anderson said.

“Duke Energy and Duke University share a common conviction that the purpose of this partnership must be to apply, not merely accrue, knowledge,” said William H. Schlesinger, James B. Duke Professor of Biogeochemistry and dean of the Nicholas School. “Providing decision makers with factual, timely counsel, free of political spin, is critical.”

Much of the data used by researchers in the Climate Change Policy Partnership will be specific to North Carolina, but their reports and research findings will have broad applicability to policy considerations at all levels of government.

“Collectively, we have access to decades of data from field studies in North Carolina. This is a remarkable resource for creating the kind of detailed, data-rich scientific model that will be a useful forecasting tool – not only for decision makers here but also in similar states and regions nationwide,” said Robert B. Jackson, professor of biology and environmental sciences and director of Duke’s Center on Global Change.

Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute, said, “I cannot think of a better founding participant in the Nicholas Institute than Duke Energy. The leadership shown by Duke Energy and Paul Anderson on global warming is laudable, and we look forward to helping the company decipher the best ways to tackle this generation’s greatest environmental challenge.”

As the partnership expands and recruits more academic and corporate participants, researchers will begin studies of the carbon-reducing potential of other options such as renewable energy and enhanced vehicle fuel efficiency technologies.

“By expanding the scope of the Climate Change Policy Partnership, we bring more partners to the table and gain a broader perspective of the challenge and opportunities ahead,” said Richard J. Osborne, group vice president of public and regulatory policy at Duke Energy.

“We are eager for other partners to join us in this endeavor, particularly those involved in agriculture, forest products, energy and transportation,” Osborne said. “A viable policy to address global climate change must encourage reduced carbon emissions from all sources and segments of our economy, not just a few.”

Contact: Tim Lucas, Nicholas School of the Environment & Earth Sciences
Phone: 919/613-8084
24-Hour Phone: n/a
e-mail: tdlucas@duke.edu